Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Rip Big Red 35-6
Capacity Crowd Sees Massillon Gridders Win Fourth Game Of Season


A hard hitting Steubenville football team gave the Washington high school Tigers their stiffest battle of the season Friday evening but did not have enough to keep the Bengals from winning their fourth victory of the autumn campaign and their 17th in a row.

The score was 35-6 and the margin of Massillon victory might have been four touchdowns more had it not been for a couple of fumbles, a disagreement of officials and the expiration of time. We will get around to all that before the end of this story.

What matters most was that the Tigers kept their slate clean while removing the Big Red from the undefeated list in the state. What we regret is that it had to be done at the expense of an ex-Massillonian, Ray Hoyman, coach of Steubenville.

But there’s no time for sentiment on the football field, and there was none of it displayed in the game as the two teams battled it out throughout the night.
* * *
YOU HAD only to visit the Tigers dressing room after the contest to know the players had been through their most grueling contest of the season.

Several were limping and there was scarcely a lad who did not leave some skin behind in Harding stadium.

“That was the hardest hitting team we have met this year,” said Coach Chuck Mather as he gave the squad the once over after the game.

Tom Fisher had an injured leg, which could bench him for quite a spell; Chuck Lentz was banged up; John Traylor was limping and the merthiolate was being daubed around freely.

It was testimony of the brand of football the Big Red put up in defeat, and evidence that the Tigers had to be good to survive.

A capacity crowd of more than 9,000 attended the game and over a third of it was composed of Massillon fans.

The local delegation had plenty of opportunities to cheer as their favorite team slammed over five touchdowns through some sensational running and passing, and lost four others that might just as well have been marked up to their credit.
* * *
STEUBENVILLE folks had a jolly time themselves when their fleet back, Jim Johnson, intercepted a Tiger pass and went for the works in the last 37 seconds of the game.

It didn’t mean anything as far as getting close to victory was concerned but it was something to cheer about.

Of more interest from a local standpoint were the touchdowns that were not made. Twice the Tigers lost the ball on fumbles when within an arm’s reach of the goal line, and twice more they were denied scores, once through a difference of opinion of officials and again through the expiration of time.

The official twist came near the end of the first half when John Francisco apparently went over from the three-yard line. The head linesman, Glen Dicken, indicated a touchdown. The field judge disagreed and the referee took the field judge’s opinion. The Tigers had but two seconds left after that one and Rich Crescenze fumbled in his hurry to get off another play as the half ended.

Then at the end of the game the Massillon boys had a first down on the seven-yard line with precious seconds ticking away. Their timeouts already used up, Joe Eaglowski faked injury in an attempt to get a timeout, but the officials did not see him and time ran out before the ball could again be put in play.
* * *
THE ORANGE and black struck swiftly in the opening minutes of each half. An unintentional onside kick at the start of the game was covered by John Francisco on the Big Red 39-yard line. Six plays later, Crescenze passed 26 yards to Jim Letcavits for the touchdown, with the game only two minutes and 42 seconds old.

Then to start off the second half, John Traylor gathered in the Stubber kickoff on the 10 and raced 90 yards to score.

Sandwiched between these two touchdowns was a 44-yard touchdown pass, Crescenze to Traylor.

The locals scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Billy Stone went over from seven yards out on the first play of the quarter to climax a 40-yard march. Francisco bucked across the final six points from the one-yard line and Tom Boone completed a perfect evening of placement kicking by booting his fifth point after touchdown.

The Statistics show the Tigers’ superiority as good if not better than the score.

The locals made 31 first downs to the Stubbers three and gained 454 yards from scrimmage to 113 yards.

Where they failed was in loose ball handling. They fumbled seven times, losing the ball on four of the occasions.

Penalties hurt at times too. The Tigers lost 95 yards while Steubenville lost 47 for rule infractions.
* * *
THE TIGERS rolled up their yardage in, every possible way. They made much of it on the ends, hoping to spread the Big Red defense for quickies and counters through the line and they opened the secondary, particularly early in the game with some well placed passes. Crescenze and Carl Porter hit five receivers for two touchdowns and 133 yards.

Steubenville had a set of fast backs who were dangerous when loose. Fastest of all was John Stinson, a substitute who hadn’t intended playing this year because of a twice fractured leg. He didn’t pick up too much yardage since he only carried a couple of times. Next in line and a great back was Fred Hudson who was a threat every time he carried the ball. Jim Morgan and Jim Johnson, other backs, were also dangerous.

On the line, Veteran Tackle Bill Kerr played a whale of a game. Said Eaglowski, “He was the kind of guy who would smile and wink at you and then proceed to knock you to pieces.”
* * *
THE TIGERS had their good boys too. Francisco, Traylor, Homer Floyd and Billy Stone all ran well. Homer had a case of fumbleitis, largely because the Stubbers were tackling the ball.

Jim Letcavits looked good again at end and Bruce Schram at tackle, and you can’t start mentioning people without getting into Boone’s five placements after touchdowns and his fine kickoffs.

Here’s how the scoring went:

Steubenville won the toss and elected to receive. Boone kicked off, hit the ball on the side of his foot and Francisco grabbed it for the Tigers on the Big Red 39. Traylor and Francisco made it first on the 27, Traylor hit for five, but Crescenze covered a fumbled handoff for a loss of three. The Big Red line swarmed over Francisco for a yard loss. Then Crescenze stepped back and shot a pass to Letcavits for 26 yards and the first T.D. of the game. Two minutes and 42 seconds had expired.
* * *
THE TIGERS started next time from their 37. Traylor ripped off 10 after Floyd had failed to gain. Floyd went to the Big Red 44 and Crescenze pitched to Traylor for the remaining 44 yards and a touchdown. Five minutes and 56 seconds of the game had passed by on this one.

The Tigers didn’t threaten again until midway in the second period when they recovered Hudson’s fumble on the Big Red 24. Floyd raced to a first on the 15. Floyd raced to a first on the 15. Francisco made four and Floyd fumbled but recovered for a gain of three putting the ball on the eight. Francisco drove to a first down on the four. Floyd fumbled within reach of a touchdown and Johnson recovered for Steubenville.

The locals drove to the goal line the next time they got the ball as the last seconds were being ticked off on the clock. With 21 seconds to go, Francisco apparently went over from the two. The head linesman, we thought, as did Coach Mather, signaled for a T.D., but was overruled by the referee. Time was called with two seconds to go. Crescenze attempted to buck it over but fumbled and another touchdown effort was lost.

The third quarter got under way in dazzling fashion for the Tigers. Traylor gathered in the kickoff on the 10 and raced straight up the alley 90 yards to score in the first 16 seconds of play.

The Tigers next got the ball on a punt on their 25. Francisco and Traylor got off good runs as the ball was moved to a first on the 16. Floyd took it to the eight had the ball pulled from his arms and Steubenville covered. A third T.D. was lost.
* * *
AS THE THIRD period was fading the Tigers launched their fourth successful touchdown drive. Traylor was downed with a Big Red punt on the latter’s 40. Stone smacked for 15 and again raced to a first on the 12. Stone circle right end on the first play of the fourth period for the touchdown.

Floyd set the Tigers in motion for their final points when he hauled in one of Nick Medves’ passes on the Steubenville 46. Stone hit for 10 and after an exchange of five-yard penalties for delays, Porter circled left end for 23 yards and a first on the 13. Stone was stopped without gain but Halfback Andy Stavroff ran to the six.

A five-yard penalty on Steubenville for offside put the ball on the one and Francisco was given the honor of bucking it over.

Only 37 seconds of the game remained to be played when Johnson intercepted Porter’s pass and ran 65 yards for the Big Red touchdown. But even in those last 37 seconds the Tigers almost got another. They brought the kickoff back to their 45 and Stone almost got away as he ran to a first on the seven. It was at this point that Eaglowski played injured but nobody saw him until the game as over. A fourth touchdown lost.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Letcavits, Lentz, Boone, Lopez, Lorch.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Maier, Woolley.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Gardner, Shilling.
CENTERS –Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Longshore, Stavroff.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stone.

ENDS – Thomas, Starlipper, Pettress, Wilson, Fulton.
TACKLES – Snyder, Kerr, Underwood, Snair.
GUARDS – Starr, Bickerstaff, Brandt.
CENTER – Moncilovich.
QUARTERBACKS – Medves, White.
HALFBACKS – Johnson, Hudson, Stinson, Callas.
FULLBACKS – Morgan, Pylia.

Score by periods:
Massillon 14 0 7 14 35
Steubenville 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Letcavits; Traylor 2; Stone; Francisco.
Steubenville – Johnson.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 5 (place kicks).

Referee – A.L. Walsh (Elwood City).
Umpire – Sam Hodnick (Canton).
Head Linesman – Glen Dicken (Pittsburgh).
Field Judge – Hub Radnour (Pittsburgh).

Mass. Steub.
First downs 21 3
Passes attempted 15 7
Passes completed 5 1
Had passes intercepted 1 2
Yards gained passing 133 7
Yards gained rushing 321 106
Total yards gained 454 113
Yards lost 21 18
Net yards gained 433 95
Times kicked off 6 2
Average kickoff (yards) 45 37
Yards kickoffs returned by 100 93
Times punted 3 7
Average punt (yards) 37 34
Yards punts returned 63 13
Times fumbled 7 2
Lost ball on fumbles 4 1
Times penalized 9 9
Yards penalized 95 47

Jim Lectavits